In my last two posts (here and here), we talked about tech tools that can improve your need for basic graphic design or your inter- and intra-office communications. But sometimes, technology just makes things easier for you. And when we’re all always busy, saving a little time here and there (or, in the case of my last point, preventing something that will cause a lot of problems) is a golden opportunity.
In PR, that means things like social media scheduling or “proving” your results might not be so time-consuming or difficult. Some of my favorite things are:
Social media scheduling tools
There’s Hootsuite and Loomly and Hubspot and Monday. There are a million more I haven’t named. In my professional opinion, it only matters a little bit which one you use. Facebook and Instagram have their own (Facebook Business Suite), and you’ll want to stick to that for those platforms. But when deciding how you’ll schedule LinkedIn posts, tweets or whatever else you’re sharing, just consider things like the cost, if there’s an account limit and whether you need other features, like in-app approval.
Google Analytics (OK, all the analytics.)
I once went to a professional development lunch and heard from a woman with 30 years of experience in PR. Her experience mostly involved media relations and events. But she made a point to bring up “digital marketers.” She had seen, in recent years, that the digital people were getting all the money from the company budgets. Why was that? In her words, “because they can prove their results!”
But analytics aren’t just for digital advertising. They show email open rates, organic and paid social media performance, website trends and more. If you’re a strategy-minded PR person who sets good, measurable objectives, analytics are going to be your best friend.
Most platforms offer them, but one of the easiest and most comprehensive (and FREE) is Google Analytics. If you don’t know much about it, consider taking some free courses from the Google Analytics Academy. You’ll learn a lot. I did!
I can’t write about technology without mentioning the value of a password manager. I like LastPass, but there are lots of them out there.
This is good in your personal life (because raise your hand if you use the same password for more than one site!). But it’s also valuable in work, too. LastPass allows password sharing between users, so you can keep your logins changing, strong and available to everyone who needs them (and no one else). It will recognize even the slightest error in a URL, so if you inadvertently click a spammy email link, it won’t turn over your password.
Consider whether you have hours, days or (more likely) weeks to deal with a cybersecurity breach. It’s a crisis communication of the highest order if it happens to a client account and if their stakeholders are compromised. It might cost you some of your files or your company a lot of money. There will probably be police reports. You might have personal problems if your identity is stolen.
Get the password manager. It’s worth the peace of mind.